This post is kind of unfair. Carl Bloch: The Master’s Hand is in Utah so I know a lot of our readers won’t be able to see it in person. But if you’re ever in Utah during the next few weeks (general conference?), I highly suggest putting it on your list of to-dos.
That being said, the Carl Bloch show at BYU’s Museum of Art is one of the most beautiful art exhibits I’ve ever seen. Now, I understand I’m not an art historian and don’t have the credibility to tell you this is a “must-see show,” but in my defense, I was an art history T.A. for five years and I do tend to get embarrassingly excited when I walk into a museum.
If you haven’t seen the exhibit yet, I must ask, what are you waiting for?! It ends soon (May 7) and reservations are required, so it’s very likely you could miss out if you wait to the last minute.
The art has been flown in from four different Danish chapels and many Danish and Swedish museums. The Museum of Art has reconstructed the wooden altarpieces each painting originally is framed by, giving viewers a feel of the ancient settings they come from.
My biggest surprise: I had no idea how much of this 19th-century Danish artist’s work is used in church curriculum. I recognized a bunch of his paintings from our Sunday School manuals and teaching aides, which I thought made the exhibit a lot more personal and meaningful.
Here are a few things I suggest doing if you plan to see it:
1. Rent the iPad. This is an absolute must. For each painting, scriptorians, art historians, and general authority explain the meaning and context in short videos. You can take a virtual tour of the chapel it comes from. You can also click on different components of the artwork and the significance is explained. The best $3 you will spend all night.
2. Give yourself at least one to two hours. I felt rushed because I only gave myself an hour. I easily could have spent two because the information on the iPad was all so good.
3. Educate yourself before you go. The Museum of Art website has some great background info on Bloch and the exhibit. I wish I had known a little more before I went.
4. Don’t take young kids. This is definitely not an FHE for a young family unless you plan on going back by yourself.
Have you been to the exhibit? What did you think? Leave a comment below.
Ashley Evanson is the Online Editor at LDS Living. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and loves looking at design blogs, wishing she could be as hip as the people she reads about. Her favorite color is light tan.
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